Confronting barriers to innovation
International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
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This paper reports on a case study of how a micro-enterprise managed the innovation processes in the development from product idea to commercial exploitation of a product awarded 'Millennium Products' status by the UK Design Council. The focus of the paper is to describe how this micro-enterprise managed the barriers to innovation it encountered and whether the processes employed could act as an example of best practice for other micro-enterprises? Few studies have sought to analyse the innovation process in SMEs, even fewer have looked at how micro-enterprises (enterprises with fewer than five employees including the owners) have dealt with the barriers to innovation – this paper seeks to address this apparent void. This case study analysis emphasised that businesses do not necessarily need to address all of the barriers to innovation they encounter in order to commercially exploit an idea. Such knowledge has assisted other micro and small-enterprises in prioritising strategies for successful commercial exploitation of innovative new product development projects. These findings have informed further ongoing research and have also materially contributed to subsequent knowledge and technology transfer activities, including KTP schemes, particularly those with very small companies.
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